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Australian Police: Using Apple Maps Could Be Fatal

According to Australian law enforcement personnel, a flaw discovered in Apple’s Maps application could prove deadly for motorists if action is not taken. Pictured above is the city of Mildura, although that is not where the city is actually located. Apple has placed the town some 40 miles in the Outback, an environment that if not prepared for or you happen to become stranded in, offers very little in terms of road side service.

Unfortunately, a few Maps users have already found themselves in this situation, needing to be rescued by emergency crews and were found with zero water supply. 

Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.

Police have contacted Apple in relation to the issue and hope the matter is rectified promptly to ensure the safety of motorists travelling to Mildura. Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified.

We like poking fun at Maps due to its laughable launch, but let us not forget Google’s failed launch of the Nexus Q. Although, I don’t recall the Q being blamed for anyone getting stranded in 114 degree weather with no food or water. Maybe that’s something we’ll get at this year’s I/O?

Via: CNN

Cheers Jason, Kurt, Poya, and Nicholas!

  • Fortunately, their Air Supply was fine.

    *I’m all out of love, I’m so lost without you…*

  • zin11

    i dont see what’s so fatal about this. This only kills off iOS users right? It’s evolution at its work. What’s the big deal

  • JohnPA2006

    If your relying on an iPhone to traverse the outback, your going to die.

  • RW-1

    There are now two generalized groups of people who, when observed, seem to be walking aimlessly: 1. People on Android who are playing Ingress. 2. People using Apple Maps to navigate. Plain and simple.

  • rengek

    Oh apple maps. You are the xmas gift that keeps on giving. I have so enjoyed these many fun stories..no wait thats not what makes me giggle. Its the ifanboys whose heads look like they will explode whenever I bring up the topic. Terrific.

  • Geo

    This is just sad

  • master94

    Australia should just ban Apple products for posing a danger to human life and killing isheep human brain cells.(Assuming they had any to being with)

  • scrub175

    Two things. Google Nav has given bum directions before as well.

    2nd on a stretch of I40 a land slide closed a good portion of the highway for a few months. There was a warning sign to follow the detour route as GPS may not be reliable in this particular area. This was years before Apple maps was even a thought. So to say using apple maps could be fatal is a little bit of a mischaracterization.

    But as stated this will be made a big deal as its a slam to an old nemesis.

    • Tyler James

      scrub175 “So to say using apple maps could be fatal is a little bit of a mischaracterization.”

      Wait… So people getting stranded without food/water for at least 24 hours due to a city being misplaced by Apple is a mischaracterization?

      A closed road and a failure to re-direct is not fatal. The detours placed should lead drivers and eventually Google Maps to redirect. Being stranded in 115 degree heat without food/water is potentially fatal. Those who live in that area are not affected. Those who visit that area and use Apple Maps to navigate are affected.

      YES, Google Maps has given “bum” directions before, but it has not lead me personally to a dessert with minimal cell service, and 115 degree heat.

      If Apple wanted to get it right, they should have worked on developing Apple Maps for quite some time before ditching Google Maps.

      Disclaimer: I am a Fandroid. I will not deny this. I do use an iProduct however: a 4th Gen iPod Touch. I follow Droid Life because I am a Fandroid. I do not follow Apple News sites because I am not an Apple fanboy, or an iSheep.

      • scrub175

        I usually leave dessert to Dairy Queen.

        And other Nav services haven’t misplaced a city? I’m just saying its a big deal so folks can pile on to apple. GPS is not 100%. To declare a virtual state of emergency because a data based service has failed is a little dramatic.

        • Tyler James

          I apologize. Desert*.

          A little dramatic? Potentially. However, I appreciate the Police warning users of Apple Maps to use caution when navigating that area.

          I don’t recall reading anywhere where they have “declared a virtual state of emergency” because of the issue. Australian Police have just warned people. Simple as that.

          If I was in that area trying to Mildura having never been there before, and using an iPhone to navigate the area, I personally would want to know that there is an issue with a city not being where it is supposed to be.

          With that said, I would have at least briefly looked at directions of the area before attempting to drive it. I do this all the time. Before I leave for a trip, I read over the directions. This way, I have an idea of what roads I need to take. GPS then is just a reminder at that point to take those roads.

  • RaptorOO7

    GPS is supposed to make life easier and safer by not requiring you to try reading a map while driving. That said, there is likely a huge difference between those who will blindly drive into a lake or onto railroad tracks because a GPS said so and those who are actually relying on a GPS to get them from point A to point B which they have never traveled before.

    Seems obvious to me that Apple screwed the pooch on this one, apologies do little for those who have been harmed and the Aussie police have good reason to caution users away from relying on Apple maps. In fact I wouldn’t rely on them for quite some time after all Jobs would tell you that you are holding it wrong.

    • Tyler James

      I completely agree. I have been trying to make that point in other comments here.

      These people were not driving into a lake, driving over a cliff, or onto railroad tracks because they were just blindly following the GPS (thinking of the Mayhem guy from Allstate…), they were following the GPS from point A (unknown) to point B (Maldura) and Apple Maps lead them into the park by mistake.

      Don’t ever just rely on a GPS device to get from that point A to point B. Use a little common sense and grab a map and familiarize yourself with the route before departing.

      • Droidzilla

        “Don’t ever just rely on a GPS device to get from that point A to point B. Use a little common sense and grab a map and familiarize yourself with the route before departing.”

        The only problem with this logic is that it negates the usefulness of a GPS. One could also say that the map you’ve grabbed could also be incorrect; at some point, you have to trust your tool. Apple Maps simply isn’t trustworthy.

  • SeanBello

    this is crazy!

  • Kevin Lauscher

    This isn’t android news.

    • Stevedub40

      Umm, yes it is, because we like to laugh at apple.

    • PhoenixPath

      Aha! It worked! We have tricked you into revealing yourself! Yes, we know it is you!

      Captain Obvious…you can no longer hide behind your alter-ego!

  • steve30x

    And Apple would still say “Apple Maps is still revolutionary” even after they heard about this..can you imagine going out in the wild and run out of gas..ugh

  • I don’t think those are comparable events. Everyone has failed product launches (remember the Apple Newton? Google Buzz?), but the Maps debacle was (a) voluntary: Apple chose to abandon a superior alternative for it, forcing iPhone users to switch, and (b) people depend on maps for accuracy, sometimes with their lives. It’s not the same as an ugly design or a lack of user friendliness.

    • SeanBello

      there wasn’t a huge press event for Google Buzz…

  • Kurtis Tamez

    Lets say the truth here, unless you at least download the damn map first, if you’re going somewhere without service you’re screwed no matter iOS or Android. I wouldn’t be trying to use a map on my cell phone if I was going to the Himalayas. Darwin at his finest right here. Just because the phone is “Smart” doesn’t mean the users are.

    • Tyler James

      I could not agree more. However, this is not the issue discussed above in the article.

      The issue discussed is the misplacing of a city, Mildura, by Apple, and those who were stranded because of it.

    • sirmeili

      But what if you put in a destination where you would have service and the GPS takes you to where you don’t. I believe that is the issue discussed in the article. The people didn’t knowingly go into an area without service.

      And, if you’ve never been anywhere and you are using GPS for directions, it’s hard to say you are stupid for thinking it will get you there (I mean that is it’s main feature).

  • Damian

    Apple just needs to uninstall their maps until it’s safe and the bugs are gone. Their app is such a joke.

    • Apple won’t do it though…they have too much “pride” and will probably end up releasing a statement saying those users who got stranded were “holding their device wrong” or some other BS story! It still puzzles me why Apple would leave Google’s Map service when Google has already spent billions of dollars and millions of man hours fine tuning their service! I mean come on, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!!

  • Apple needs to put a disclaimer when iOS maps launches.
    “Warning, by using this service, you are hereby acknowledging that you may become lost, stranded, be instructed to drive off a cliff/overpass, and put in a life threatening situation at a desolate location. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, thank you for allowing us to bend you over, please come back soon.”

    • michael arazan

      Class Action Lawsuit here we go! Hope the Jury awards the victims 2.05 billion and forces apple to either spend millions to fix their map or take it off the market and allow Google maps back on it.

      New apple phones to be sold with warning “Not for actual use” like a gag gift and iFirstAid kits

  • So it’s not funny to laugh at people in mortal peril. It is funny to laugh at Apple’s ineptitude. The dilemma….

  • Maps taking you to the wilderness? Does that mean that an apple a day doesn’t keep the critters away?

    • FAL_Fan

      Apple maps was actually made by Norman Bates.

  • carlisimo
    • That is taking you from mildura to the national park. I believe that is correct is it not?

      • Tyler James

        Correct. In order to get a true test, you would need to find where the Apple Maps users were coming from and get directions from that point to Mildura.

  • Sirx

    Wow. This…this seriously escalated quickly O_O

  • How do Apple fanboys still exist?!

    • dangolds

      They don’t. They’ve been drowned out by Fandroids. Meet the new boss….same as the old boss. In a related story, I find both to be equally annoying and self serving. The Apple maps thing was a disaster, obviously, but there’s still a lot to like about products like the iPhone 5, iPad and Macbooks if you’re not hating on Apple just for the sake of hating. Same can be said for the really excellent features of devices like the Droid DNA, GS3, Note 2 and Nexus 7 if you don’t blindly hate on Android. Clearly the sentiment in the responses to this post and others on Droid-Life is a bit different than my take, but it’s not very realistic. Most people I know with Apple products are generally happy with them and don’t complain about their quality too often, maps notwithstanding. Not sure if that makes them Fanboys by your definition, but either way I agree with them based on my personal experience with Apple products. Guess that could label me as a fanboy in these parts as well, which is interesting considering that I just typed this rant on my Nexus 7….which I specifically chose over an iPad Mini. Maybe that makes me a self hating fanboy?

      • Christopher Riner

        Id say what probably labels you as a fanboy is coming to an android site and bragging abut apple products, whilst being mildly pejorative in the description of fandroids, whilst distracing us all from apples possibly fatal features.

        • dangolds

          I’d say what makes you a fanboy is that you’re actually put off by a post that says both products (Android and Apple) are good without insulting the other side. I come to this site because I have a GS3 and a Nexus 7. There’s a lot of good tidbits of info on both devices as well as Android software in general that I’ve been able to learn about, which has helped me get the most out of both devices. Unfortunately, there’s also a bunch of blind fanboy rhetoric that is so biased and pointless, it makes my head spin. And I’m not sure what “fatal features” I’m distracting anyone from – these are phones and tablets we’re talking about, not weapons of mass destruction. Try to use a little less hyperbole.

          • Tyler James

            It is documented in the above article, other news sites, and the Australian Police that using Apple Maps to navigate from some point to Mildura is potentally fatal. This would constitute a fatal feature as Christopher Riner points out.

            When you use words such as “blind fanboy rhetoric” and try to tell us here that you are not biased towards one or the other, how are we supposed to even believe what you type?

          • dangolds

            I already referred to Apple’s map software as a “disaster” in my original post. Clearly this was secret code for “awesome” as part of my master plot to be an undercover Apple fanboy. Fortunately, you were able to foil my heinous plot just in the nick of time!

          • Tyler James

            “I already referred to Apple’s map software as a “disaster” in my original post.”

            Yes, you did.

            “Clearly this was secret code for “awesome” as part of my master plot to be an undercover Apple fanboy. Fortunately, you were able to foil my heinous plot just in the nick of time!”

            Glad I could help.

          • dangolds

            I am still laughing that a couple of my posts above could have rubbed some of you guys the wrong way. To summarize – both Apple and Android products are good and can be enjoyed if you’re not blindly biased towards one platform; fanboys exist on both sides and are equally annoying; people shouldn’t be so melodramatic about smart phones. That kind of position gets down voted several times and gets me accused of being an Apple fanboy. So in other words, anyone who doesn’t blindly love Google and hate Apple is suspected of being an Apple fanboy. Way to think with an open mind, guys. Isn’t this the very behavior you claim to detest from Apple fans? Like I said before, it’s too bad because this site has a lot of good things going for it, very informative for many things Android.

      • GuidZilla

        TL;DRwholething — SELF HATING FANBOY … 😉

  • adam king

    Well google was responsible for starting a conflict because they mistakenly mapped an island as belonging to Nicaugara, which actually belonged to Costa Rica. I would say an international invasion still trumps this lol

    • Mistakenly mapping an island isn’t potentially leading people to a possibly deadly outcome. There is no contest to who screwed up more. And anyone who disagrees is a delusional fanboy.

      • PhoenixPath

        “And anyone who disagrees is a delusional fanboy.”

        I love comments like this. It’s the internet equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting, “I’m not listening!”.

        Edited for absolutely horrifying auto-complete failures…

  • nightscout13

    On Wired.com there are iSheep that still swear by Apple Maps LMAO

    • Stevedub40

      Dude, the iphone could squirt acid in your eye each time the home button is pressed and people would still swear by it. Ya, they’re that brain washed.

      • nightscout13


    • TofuWarrior

      If you think they’re bad, you should see what’s going on at Apple Insider. They’re completely putting the blame on the users that got lost.

      Some even think that it was all made up to slander Apple Maps.

      • nightscout13

        WOW…. the blind leading the blind….

      • itznfb

        Australian conspiracies. They’re the worst.

    • Chris

      I’m sorry but I’ve never even heard of that website until now. And man, do I wish I never clicked on it.

      This article: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/samsung-ces-teaser-premium-suite/

      Doesn’t it make you want to just hit the guy who wrote it for just completely making this update sound terrible, when it’s good?

      • nightscout13

        Wired has always beed dangling off Steve Jobs’ scrotum. A few months ago, they even wrote an article, comparing Steve Jobs to Edison, and Tesla. Epic disrespect.

  • S2556

    HAHA Wow. Apple you make this way to easy
    Stick to overpriced consumer electronics, mapping is clearly not your cup of tea.

  • EvanTheGamer

    Google Maps, anyone?

  • Mudokon83

    Reminds me of the episode of THE OFFICE where Michael drives into the lake because the GPS turn by turn told him to.

    • EvanTheGamer

      That was the most hilarious scene ever. Simply brilliant.

    • nightscout13

      Most people follow the voice of the GPS instead of the voice of logic. BTW, I miss the days of Michael in The Office. Things are boring now, with Andy on some lame boat trip, and a bunch of newbies in the annex.

      • Butters619

        My aunt seriously drove by the restaurant we were going to because he GPS told her to. We went nearly 4 miles out of the way before coming back to the restaurant that we had previously passed.

        And it wasn’t like it was on the other side of the street and we had to make a U-Turn. It was right on our right. I will never let it go.

        • my mom is the same exact way…

          Mom:but the GPS said to keep going.. maybe theres another
          Starbucks up the street
          Me:…um why not just go to this one
          Mom: cuz the gps doesnt say its there
          Me;Its right there look at it.
          Mom: no must keep going!

      • FAL_Fan

        Agreed, Andy isn’t Michael…and at this rate I’m glad the show is about to be discontinued.

        • nightscout13

          They should have cut the show right after Steve Carell left. That way at least we would have had positive memories of the show.

      • creed

        If someone logically knew where they were going, then they wouldn’t need a navigation app. Would they?

        • nightscout13

          That would be the consensus, except stupid people still need GPS to get to the Starbucks across the street….

    • FAL_Fan

      Brilliant! That’s what comes to mind every time I think of iPhone users…Ah the good old days.

    • Simon Belmont

      No, Michael, bear right, BEAR RIGHT. No, this is the lake, THIS IS THE LAKE.

      *Splash* Man, I love that scene.